What is Giclée Fine Art Printing?

Framed Pictures and Living Room Decor

You might have guessed from the accent in the word giclée that it’s a French word. It comes from a mix of French words; gicleur, which is a technical term for a nozzle or jet, and gicler, to spray out.

But what exactly is giclée? Pronounced gee-klay – the term was initially coined by printmaker Jack Duganne in 1991. Today, it's used to describe the digital fine art printing method that uses pigment based, archival quality inks, manufactured on advanced inkjet printers. Giclée fine art printing is considered the gold standard when it comes to producing museum-level quality prints.

Traditional digital printing methods usually use four inks – cyan, magenta, yellow and black – also known as CMYK as the acronym for these four colours – to mix and create other colours. In comparison, giclée printers use up to 12 individual colours to mix and create colours. As you can imagine, this gives a much wider gamut of colour, more accurate colour reproduction and also prints much smoother gradient transitions. These features give a superior reproduction finish with more vibrant colours in comparison to 4-colour prints.

The longevity of giclée prints is also a key feature. Under normal indoor conditions, colours will retain their brilliance for a really long time, even a lifetime! It’s important that wall art is hung out of direct sunlight however, as this will cause any type of art to fade, be it a print or an original. That’s why we find many art galleries paying a lot of attention to how art is displayed under the correct lighting conditions to preserve the art.

The other benefit of giclée prints is that the production time is quite fast – minutes versus hours if you’re comparing to the lithography printing method.

Is there a downside? Giclée inks are aqueous, that is, they’re water-based, so the method can’t be used in outdoor applications nor is it the best for fabric printing. Unlike printing methods like screen printing, water-based inks don’t chemically bond with the layers of the surface being printed on, to the same degree. This also means that it’s important that giclée prints are framed well and kept out of spaces that may have high humidity levels, like bathrooms that don’t have adequate ventilation. But water based inks are more eco friendly. Neonimo’s manufacturer also works with the water board to make sure ink waste is disposed of properly so nothing leaks into the environment.

Hopefully this whistle-stop tour of giclée fine art printing explains why giclée is the perfect choice for gallery-quality wall art prints. That’s why Neonimo has beautiful Giclée Framed Prints as well Giclée Framed Luxury Large Prints printed on beautifully thick 280 gsm fine art paper, framed in a 35mm deep FSC certified frames. We use high-quality shatterproof acrylic as a pane which is a highly durable material that adds resilience and a shine.

Framed prints and artwork enhances your home and shows off your decor taste while making your house feel homely and personal. Make a statement above your fireplace, along the staircase, in your bedroom, kitchen or even the humble WC!

If you have a home office or a small business like a cafe, bar or salon, these framed art prints are a fun and innovative way to give your business space some zing. You’re sure to create the wow-factor in any space with one, or several, giclée framed prints.

Stay colourful!

Namalee at Neonimo xx


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